When to Replace Your Transmission


The transmission is one of the most important parts of a vehicle and needs to be in good condition to ensure that the car runs continues to well. When the transmission begins to fail, it can affect the lifespan of the vehicle and can make it difficult to operate one the road. Although repairs can be made on your transmission, there are a few signs that it needs to be replaced.
Unusual Sounds
Transmissions that are failing are prone to make odd sounds when you drive the car, which can lead to further complications. You may hear a grinding noise due to a worn clutch or the gears may also be damaged if they make sounds when you shift to different gears. Humming and buzzing sounds are also common when the transmission begins to malfunction, which can occur when the car shimmies when it shifts into a new gear. You may also hear the transmission change in its pitch, which can sound like a whining noise that is easy to hear over the sound of the engine running. If you’re concerned about any of the sounds, you’ll need to have the vehicle inspected by a professional.
Odd Smells
Bad transmissions that need to be replaced often emit odd smells that resemble a burning odor when the car is running, which can mean that the fluid needs to be changed. The transmission parts may not be properly lubricated, which may mean that the transmission needs to be rebuilt. A lack of lubrication will damage the parts and make the car difficult to operate.
Delay in Movement
Many people notice that the car stalls or fails to move once you shift into certain gears, which is an indicator that there are likely issues present with the transmission. Your clutch may be worn if the car hesitates when you shift into a new gear or if you attempt to rev the engine when increasing your speed. You may also notice that the gears tend to switch on their own at times, which is an indicator that the transmission is slipping.
Fluid Leaks
It can be easy to assume that it’s normal for your car to leak fluid, but this can also be an indicator that your transmission needs immediate attention. Transmissions are sealed when they’re built and should never leak oil. If you suspect that there’s oil dripping, place a piece of cardboard underneath the vehicle for 24 hours on a flat surface to determine if there are any active leaks. Fluid that leaks out that is brown or dark red is a sign that there’s a serious problem that needs to be investigated by a transmission professional.
Warning Light
Your car will warn you if the transmission is malfunctioning with a warning light that turns on, which that there’s a problem that has developed. The transmission and surrounding parts should be inspected immediately once the warning light is lit to avoid complications that can develop when the car is running. You’ll likely need to replace the transmission if the warning light is accompanied by strong odors and unusual noises that are coming from the engine.
Replacing vs. Repairing the Transmission
Transmissions typically need to be replaced when your car needs a quick fix if it is no longer operable. In many cases, transmissions can be rebuilt with new parts, but the process can take an extended period of time and must meet factory specifications once it’s completed.
Maintaining the Transmission
Although there are a number of causes of problems that develop in transmissions, there are several ways to maintain the structure and increase its lifespan. The transmission fluid should be changed every 30,000 to 60,000 miles for manual transmissions and every 15,000 miles for transmissions that are under a significant amount of stress due to how much the vehicle is used. Automatic transmissions require that the oil is changed every 30,000 miles to never. The transmission fluid filter and gasket should also be inspected when the oil is changed by a licensed mechanic to ensure that the vehicle continues to run well for many years to come.
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